Published in the September 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
PLENTY OF SOFTWARE PROGRAMS address different pieces of hospitalists’ work and communication needs, from charge capture and Web-based sign-out to doctor-to-doctor messaging.
But EHRX, a new Web-based application with mobile apps for Apple and Android devices, bills itself as a one-stop shop that integrates all those features into one program, and then some. It gives hospitalists not only the electronic tools they need inside the hospital, but the external communication platform they don’t otherwise have with outside providers.
EHRX has been developed by Anil Goud, MD, president of Independent Hospitalists, a private hospitalist group at John C. Lincoln Health Network in Phoenix, and a technical team.
“Most communication features, even if robust, just aren’t effective outside the hospital,” Dr. Goud explains. “We wanted to allow clinicians across care settings to identify and securely connect with one another.”
The program imports demographic data and medication and diagnosis information from EHRs. Inside the hospital, algorithms built into the program help distribute patients to all the hospitalists on service at the click of a button, making workloads even. “That used to take us 45 minutes every morning,” Dr. Goud says.
Patient lists include icons indicating whether or not patients have VTE prophylaxis, for instance, and notations for planned discharge times. “Prior to using the system, about 10% of our discharge orders were ready by 10 a.m.,” Dr. Goud points out. “That’s now 40%.”
The system allows for charge capture linked to the practice’s billing software for each patient encounter. And doctors can enter brief summaries “or dictate them with voice recognition “to create running summaries and sign-out. Physicians can also edit, cut and paste those summaries into their hospital’s EMR to form the basis of the discharge summary.
Hospital staff, including nurses and other physicians, can log into EHRX to find out who is assigned to the patient, then send secure text messages to that physician on his or her preferred device. Doctors can message back as well as forward their messages to other physicians when they are off shift or in meetings.
And outside the hospital, licensed groups of primary care physicians, specialists and transitional coaches can access the system for their patients, also communicating with attending hospitalists through secure messaging. That helps doctors avoid phone tag with outpatient physicians. Future roll-outs will extend EHRX access to post-acute settings and to patients and families.
The system has been designed, says Mark Emery, co-founder, “with a focus on the emerging ‘Accountable Care’ environment that now surrounds a hospital.” To prevent readmissions and improve transitional care, “you need much more robust communication capabilities with partners outside your institution.”
More information is online at www.ehrx.com.